Значение идиомы sink or swim

[sink or swim] {v. phr.} To succeed or fail by your own efforts, without help or interference from anyone else; fail if you don’t workhard to succeed.

When Joe was fourteen, his parents died, and hewas left by himself to sink or swim.

Tom’s new job was confusingand no one had time to help him learn, so he had to sink or swim.

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